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Review: Amnesia opening party, 2014

It's the surprises that we come to Ibiza for.

Oh if the Amnesia walls could talk – the things they have seen. The things I've seen, and I only stumbled my way into this most excellent clubbing contraption in the last four years of its long and riotous thirty-eight year history. As always, the party climaxes on the Terrace on Sunday, but increasingly Amnesia has boosted the calibre of the Main Room line-ups so that the Saturday night portion of the opening is as tempting as the Sunday morning. This requires stamina, comfortable shoes, and no plans for the rest of Sunday. Seriously, don't even try.

We arrived before 4am for the second half of Maya Jane Coles' set in a packed out Main Room. She had an energetic hop to most of her beats and incorporated a lot of moody vocal tracks like Wehbba's remix of Joyce Muniz Sleepless, as is her style at the moment. Zeles, Amnesia's Main Room lighting guru, must have been chomping at the bit to get back at the Amnesia sparklies after a winter apart from his post, as the lights and lasers were particularly hyperactive, making for a deliciously disorienting experience.

At around 5am Adam Beyer's industrial techno pounding swallowed Coles' melodies and the Main Room headed into even heavier territory. It was a slower set than usual for Beyer, but still with plenty of weight behind it and grizzly peak-time sounds that were perfect for losing yourself in the dark mania of the main room, the rave-cave illusion spoilt only by an animated Amnesia logo flopping about the LED screens like glorified clip art (screens will never have a place in clubs for me). Unfortunately as morning drew on Beyer lost much of his crowd to the Terrace, myself included, but it's no comment on his efforts – the call of the Terrace at opening and closing parties is impossible to ignore.

So we headed through the doors and into daytime, experiencing a moment of horror at the sudden and exposing light, before remembering that not only do we have sunglasses but also that daylight doesn't bite. Amnesia favourite Davide Squillace was already gunning for it and shortly after we joined the throng teased us with the longest, most ambitious crescendo which had every body squinting, grimacing and waving their arms frantically, which in rave terms means having a good time. Squillace was in fine form and quickly became the hero of my morning. He took so many twists and turns, and without losing the overall flow managed to surprise me with every new track. There was heavy tech, classic house (Doorly – Ladies Night), disco warps, monstrous bass rattles, tribal drums, eerily distant vocals from Hot Natured's Benediction woven in as a ghostly echo of season's past, and a particularly epic moment through Claude Von Stroke's Where's Kenny remix of Can't Wait.

The Apollonia trio (Shonky, Dan Ghenacia and Dyed Soundorom) claimed the booth at 9am, ready to lead us to the final midday gong. They took it down a few notches from Squillace's bold aural ventures, starting at ground level so as to work their way up to something supreme. They weren't as adventurous as Squillace to begin with, but as Amnesia opening virgins, just needed a moment to find their groove, and in the final hour produced the musical surprises that Amnesia mornings are all about. Some golden dance floor moments came from LFO vs F.U.S.E Loop, The Derrick Carter mix of Glasgow's Jazz by DJ Q (casual jazz chords in the Terrace... so freaking smooth) and the abrasive acidy gurgles of Argy Love Dose.

Ibiza's best and brightest fruitloops were out to play by morning, including one terrace balcony regular with a penchant for knocking out sashays, pirouettes and powerful lunges on the glass directly above the DJ booth - with a cane, what a baller! Adventurous and varied sets, crazy characters and a strong sense of dance floor community are what we come to this party for, the first of many to come at Amnesia this summer. In fact we're off to Cocoon Opening in a matter of hours… give me strength.

WORDS | Jordan Smith PHOTOGRAPHY | Amnesia Photo Team

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